July 19, 2016

Pine Creek Meet Report -- July 17

It was a dark and stormy night morning. That was July 10 when as a consequence of an improbable July downpour in Boise, Horseshoe Bend and McCall I postponed the Pine Creek Meet. Although later reports from the scene proved the postponement unnecessary, at the time it seemed that the risk of problems caused by a very muddy and maybe impassable Forest Service Road 304 was not a good choice.

First, I must apologize to Mike Teller. I arranged to have Sergey pick up some controls off the Intermediate Course before I verified that part of the course to be clear of participants. I have no excuse, only an apology. To make matters worse I recall that I had done the same thing to Ole at the 2014 Bogus Basin Meet and vowed to never make that mistake again. For whatever it's worth (It might not be much if history is any guide.) I am assuring everyone, especially Mike, that it will never happen again.

To Mike's credit, he was gracious. I'm not confident that I would have been so forgiving. He drove up to the meet in spite of his wife's ailing back only to spend fruitless and frustrating time searching for three controls that weren't there. When I caught up to him on the far end of the course, he was right on course without controls to confirm his location. I believe that's the mark of a first rate orienteer.

The Pine Creek Map covers some rough terrain making course design a challenge. Large elevation changes and long swathes of unrunnable vegetation awkwardly constrain design. Early on I concluded that I could only squeeze out a good navigator's course of about four kilometers. Some members of CTOC come for the workout as well as the navigation. For them I added four controls to the Intermediate Course to produce an advanced course with 600 meters of climb. Only Sergey took up the challenge. As he left the start we heard, “I'll be back in 60 minutes”. A quick consultation with the results below show how his usually reliable estimation failed him. Sergey, I really did not intend to hide Control #3. Or was it #2? Either one probably was a little more obscure than it should have been.

In the Orange category it took four adult women to edge out Katrina Wright. My sidekick, Norma Bailey, teamed up with Carrie Magnuson and her friends Lauren and Mikie. I saw something entirely new. Mikie carried a 35 pound pack to prepare of an outdoor class she'll be taking soon. From what I heard she didn't slow up the group. In my mind that's a terrific demonstration of strength. Lauren has been with us before. Join up, Lauren, we'd be pleased to have you as a member.

Bill Leahy signed up for the Advanced Course. After a little gentle persuasion he opted to compete with Jeff on the Intermediate Course. Jeff, one of our accomplished ultra-runners, completed a 40 mile competition the day before. He needed no encouragement to scale down to the Intermediate Course. On the “easy” course, Jeff was out for more than two hours to take first place. I suspect Bill is waiting for Jeff to run a 50-miler the day before a meet. Bill, let us know when we need to schedule that meet.

Melanie headed for the 1st control
It was good to see Greg and Melanie. Greg has been nursing injuries and unable to run this year. I know he's a tough guy. Tackling Pine Creek when out of shape is a tough challenge. In the spirit of
their adventure racing Greg and Melanie teamed up to finish togther.

There were others who were prepared to participate on July 10, but weren't able to adjust to the postponement. Karin Didisse was on site that morning. She reported a large herd of sheep at the start. In meteorological terms there was no precipitation, but apparently it was raining sheep. That could have been an interesting twist on a meet.

It's not clear where the August meet will be, nor is it clear when it will be scheduled or even if it will happen. Watch this space for further information.

John Murray
Meet Director

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